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Durham Arts Council
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Durham Arts Council, Inc.
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC 27701

Come face-to-face with the arts in Durham.

Artist Services


Congratulations to the 2018–2019 Durham Arts Council Catalyst Grant Recipients! Click here for a list of these organizations linked to their websites.

Q&A: Durham Arts Catalyst Grant Program

The Durham Arts Catalyst Grant Program is intended to provide access to quality arts experiences for the people of Durham by supporting arts projects in Durham. The Durham Arts Catalyst Grant Program is the appropriate choice for nonprofit organizations which do not have extensive experience with seeking grant support and are planning an arts activity. If your organization has already been funded through the Season Grant program continue to use the Season Grant application. Your organization may not apply to the Durham Arts Catalyst program if it has been funded previously by the DAC Season Grant Program. Organizations may receive up to two Durham Arts Catalyst Grants in a five year period.

How do I apply for a Durham Arts Catalyst Grant?

The 2019–2020 applications will open on January 4, 2019.

After January 4 2019, you will be able to access the Durham Arts Catalyst Grant application here.

You can download the Durham Arts Catalyst Grant Budget Template. You can also download the template at the relevant question in the application.

You can download the Durham Arts Catalyst Grant Space Request Template (to be uploaded to your application if you are requesting space in the DAC building.). You can also download the template at the relevant question in the application.

The first time you open the application you will be asked to create a password which will allow you to log in a reach your application each time you return to the website.

You must review your proposal with Margaret DeMott, DAC Director of Artist Services, (919–560–2720 or mdemott@durhamarts.org) before you submit your application.

How can I learn more?

There will be an Information Session 6–7 pm, January 29, 2019 (for 2019–2020 grants) at the Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, downtown Durham. Contact Margaret DeMott for further information: mdemott@durhamarts.org; (919) 560–2720.

What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for 2018–2019 grant applications is March 22, 2019 for activities taking place between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

Who may apply?

Applicant must be a non-profit organization with 501(c) 3 status based in Durham County and the proposed project must be held in Durham County. The applicant may use a fiscal agent if the applicant does not have 501(c) 3 status. The applicant does not have to be an arts organization, though the project must be an arts activity.

What projects are eligible?

You may apply for support for a single arts project. Projects that include the opportunity for collaboration or partnership between communities, neighborhoods or organizations are encouraged, but not required. Durham Arts Catalyst Grants may not be used to support fund-raising activities.

What can I apply for?

You may apply for funds and/or for use of space in the Durham Arts Council building. You may request up to $3,000 cash. Space grants vary, but most frequently include meeting, rehearsal and performance space. The Durham Arts Council building is a 52,000 sq. ft., city-owned, community arts center that contains spaces for dance, theatre and music rehearsals, meeting rooms, and performance spaces. As part of your Durham Arts Catalyst Grant request you may ask for use of these spaces for a particular project. There are fees associated with use of granted space in the building.

What are the criteria by which DAC evaluates applications?

Each application will receive a numeric score for each of the criteria ranging from 1 to 5 (1 being lowest, 5 being highest). 1. Artistic quality of proposed project or programs 2. Community impact of project or programs 3. Ability to plan and implement project 4. Stability and fiscal responsibility of the organization 5. Involvement of more than one racial/ethnic group 6. Partnership or collaboration between communities, neighborhoods, or organizations

Who evaluates the applications?

A panel of area artists and arts professionals reviews and scores each application. The panel reviews the entire body of applications and recommends grant awards to the DAC Board of Trustees. The DAC Board of Trustees then must approve the recommendations of the panel for the process to be complete. We are planning to complete the award and review process by late June 2019.

Why does DAC ask about the participation of people from more than one racial/ethnic background?

Durham Arts Council recognizes that more than 50% of Durham’s population is African-American, Asian-American, Latinx or Native American. As a steward of public and private funds, DAC strives to provide a representative portion of grant support for arts programming that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the County. While we do not expect that every application will propose to serve all cultures represented by Durham’s population, we will look for proposals that explain how the applicant has invited and encouraged representatives of different cultures to participate in the program(s) whether as artists, administrators, audience members or volunteers. We believe that, as appropriate to their missions, the on-going stability of community arts organizations is fortified by their ability to draw on more than one racial/ethnic culture for resources, energy and vision.

Where does the money for Durham Arts Catalyst Grants come from?

The Durham Arts Catalyst Grant Program is funded by the gifts of private individuals and corporations to the Durham Arts Council Annual Arts Fund and by the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. DAC does not require a specific match for a cash grant, however, we will look for evidence that the applicant has actively pursued more than one source for the resources needed and does not expect DAC to provide everything through this Durham Arts Catalyst Grant.

When will I find out if my application was awarded a grant?

Applicants for 2019–2020 grants will be notified of the final awards in July of 2019.